I’m only mildly obsessed

I’d like to present a collection of pictures titled:
“Kitten helps with housework.”

Here we have the ever-helpful kitten helping me clean the kitchen by hiding under the dishwasher:

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Other activities include laying in the middle of the kitchen, scampering around my feet every time I turn around, trying to bat the dish towel out of my hand, and climbing into whatever open cabinet he can find.

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Here he is helping me get underneath the washer and dryer when I’m sweeping; he wants to make sure I find all 800 of the pieces of cat food he has scooped out of his bowl, batted around the kitchen like a hockey puck, and then lost underneath said washer and dryer.

Another popular activity that the kitten likes to help with is the laundry. Kitten loves the laundry, very much. All I have to do is open the dryer door and he comes running, ready to help fold the clothes and put them away.

Here he is doing exactly that:

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Clearly, every item that I pick up to fold must be thoroughly batted and covered with little white kitten hairs before they can be folded and put away. It’s especially important to make sure that my black pants and shirts for work look like I rolled around in cat hairs before I showed up to sling coffee, and that my apron strings are nice and frayed from little kitten teeth. And he doesn’t just help me fold it! Kitten also helps me put the clothes away by sitting on the piles to make sure it all fits.

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But wait! Kitten doesn’t just love the laundry–he also loves making the bed!

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See how helpful he is? By sitting in the middle of the bed and preventing me from putting the flat sheet on the bed, he is making sure I see all the wrinkles in the fitted sheet that need to be smoothed out. He also likes to bury underneath the sheets like a little gopher, probably looking for lost socks and dryer sheets.

And finally, the kitten is very concerned about how I get ready in the morning.

Here he is inspecting my make-up to ensure that I am using the right kind of eye shadow and mascara:

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It’s also helpful for him to find my powder puff and bat it onto the floor a few times during the course of 5 or so minutes. This activity is especially effective at 4:30AM when I’m trying to get out the door for work.

Thanks for all your help kitten!

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Better take a nap to rest from all your hard work. 🙂

Clearly, I’m on a roll

Why, you might ask?
Because I have been solicited by not just one, but two extremely awkward men to go out on a date this week.
TWO.

The first incident occurred at work.
I was on the bar, making the drinks. Not to be pretentious or anything but I’m hella good at running the bar. I’ve gotten the process down to a science. I think once you nail down the movements via muscle memory you can stand there for hours and make drinks and not even have to think about it. The point of telling you that is to say that I have a lot of people who stand at the end of the bar and awkwardly watch me make drinks before making comments about “Wow, you’re so fast” or “You’ve been doing this for a while, huh?” (that last one is especially annoying…)

So, this man is standing next to the bar and staring at me. I’m generally so focused on pouring milk and pulling shots and not burning my hand on the steam wand that I don’t pay much attention to the people who hover around the machines like vultures and wait on their lattes. The man in question was leaning up against the counter and making the usual comments. I set down a latte at the end of the bar and call out a name:
“Sassy! Your nonfat latte is ready!”
The man then proceeds to look me dead in the eye and say, “I’m sassy.” Please note that the phrase included the sassy-girl snapping z-formation.
Honestly all I could do was awkwardly laugh.
I finally make his beverage and set it down and call it out.
Me: Here’s your iced latte
Man, to the friend who is now standing with him: She made my drink first because she likes me. She has a crush on me.
Me, internally cringing: *awkward laughter* What? You’re ridiculous…
Him, without missing a beat: That’s what all my future girlfriends say.

Seriously, dude. Gratefully he didn’t actually try to get my number or ask me out. Because he was definitely in his early forties. And awkward. Nope.

The second incident occurred when I stopped to purchase gas on my way home from brunch with a  friend. I was standing there, minding my own business, when the man decided to break the imaginary personal space boundary that exists between two people using opposite sides of the same pump (it’s a thing) and ask me, “Why you be looking so clean?” I assume this was a compliment of some kind, as he was clearly hitting on me. I’m really good at employing the awkward laugh in times like these, so you can bet that I did a lot of it during our 50-second conversation. Not put-off by me being awkward he then asks, “Can I take you to to dinner sometime?” It was at this point when he smiled at me (in a kind of creepy way) that I noticed for the first time he, in fact, had a set of gold teeth.
Gold.
Teeth.
I let him down as nicely as I knew how by telling him that I was not interested, and he scuttled out of there pretty quickly after he returned to his side and finished pumping gas.

So clearly I’m doing something right this week that is making me especially attractive to men who use incredibly awkward means to hit on women.

It’s a boy!

I’m pretty sure I’m terrible. Terribly lazy, at least. Or non-committal. One of those two, for sure. I hate that I let so much time pass between posts; the last week and a half were a bit crazy, and when I finally got back home from baby-waiting I used the following week to watch Netflix and veg out rest and get back into my “normal” life schedule.
I mean, I won’t lie: I tried to write this post a day or so after I got back. But I thought “Nah, I’ll do it tomorrow” for a few days until it was too late, because I wouldn’t have been able to write as if I had just gotten home from Nashvegas and I knew I’d have to acknowledge how much time passed when I finally did write and so I just hyped it up in my mind so much that it would be bad to play that much catch-up that I let an entire week go by without so much as a glance at my website.
It made sense in my head. Kind of.
So here I am doing all of those things. But mostly being sorry that I am such a terrible, terrible procrastinator.

Walking into my apt last week after driving the 3 hours from Nashvegas to Birmingham, I realized that the previous weekend was probably one of the longest and most exhausting I’d had in a very long time.
However, it ended with little baby nephew being born, so I can’t complain too much. 🙂
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Meet little JM, born June 27th at 3:37 PM.
Isn’t he just precious???

After spending an entire week with my brother and his wife, walking several malls and downtown shopping centers in order to direct a certain baby out of her womb, my sister-in-law finally began having “real” contractions early on Friday morning around 4:30AM. However, they were wildly inconsistent for most of the day; it wasn’t until late that night that we were regularly timing them under 4-5 minutes and that the pain had reached fairly unbearable levels for her.

After waiting a few hours to make sure we were golden, we headed to the hospital about 12:30 AM Saturday morning. 15 hours-ish later, JM finally made his appearance. After only about 35 hours of labor. Nbd.
I have a great admiration for my sister-in-law, as I know that the whole process was terrifying and exhausting, yet she remained calm and optimistic the entire time.

And, it was worth it. He’s not even my baby and I know it was all worth it, because he’s precious and perfect and the world’s best little nephew. Ever. Holding him for the first time was an amazing experience, and I tried to soak up as much time with him as I could before I headed home. Not being near enough to just pop in whenever will be much harder now that there’s a baby, but I’m grateful that I live close enough to make the trip every couple of months or so.

In other news, the last few weeks definitely screwed over my healthy-eating habits. There’s been too much ice cream, cheese, and bread in my life lately, and cutting them back out is going to be a terrible experience all over again. Especially the ice cream. Why does it have to taste so wonderful???
Tonight, however, I will be making a batch of Lemon Honey Rosemary Chicken (by the wonderful Juli of PaleOMG) and some undetermined vegetables and I will NOT eat the last bar of chocolate in my fridge. Nope nope nope nope nope.
Nope.

Have you ever reverted to re-watching a show just because it’s comfortable and you know what’s going to happen? No? Just me?
Well, that’s been my Netlix-binge for the last week: re-watching Parks and Rec because
1. It’s a terrific show. If you haven’t watched you need to close out this terrible post right now, get on Netflix, and start on the pilot. GO.
2. It’s hilarious. That’s kind of in the same category as it being a terrific show, but I thought I’d let you know that it’s definitely hilarious.
3. Leslie Knope is my spirit animal, and
4. I know what’s coming.
When your life is full of a lot of uncertainty and confusion it’s nice to have a few things that you can predict. Even if it’s just a TV show that has no real bearing on life and its problems, watching this show is comforting for someone like me who feels rather lost in this whole process called “growing-up” because I know what the next episode is going to have, and I know how this one will end. In a dumb and weird way, it helps.

Especially because it’s hilarious.

Let’s go to the mall!

Bonus points if you get that reference.

But seriously. I’ve been spending way too much time at the mall lately. A great deal of Operation Pop This Baby Out Soon has involved us going to the mall at night and walking around for 1, 1.5 hours trying to get my sister-in-law to have contractions that are consistent and moving in the general direction of having a baby.
We’ve walked around the mall down the street from my brother’s apartment many, many times. Like, I feel as if the mall workers wonder why this pregnant lady and her two weird friends keep showing up and power-walking throughout the food court. Ha. Actually, they probably have seen that before. But after the 8th loop you start to wonder if people are talking about you.
Last night to take a break from mall-walking we went to downtown Franklin and walked around the cutesy little shops and restaurants. It was hottttt. Actually, it was muggy. The temperature would have been much more bearable if the air hadn’t felt like soggy blankets. But at least we were outside on a beautiful night. And the downtown area was full of gorgeous old buildings, trendy little new town homes, and lots and lots of fireflies. So I can’t complain even though we were sweating like fiends. And this lovely young man and his friend drove  by blaring their very explicit rap music and screamed the lyrics at us.
But besides that it was a pretty night.

So far no luck with the walking, though. We keep getting our hopes up, because walking definitely makes her have the contractions, but once we get back home and settle down they pretty much taper off and baby continues to sit at the bottom of her uterus. He’s a little turkey.

We’ll try again today, however, this time at a different mall. Change of scenery perhaps?
Come on, baby. Get your tush out!
Babies come when they’re ready, so apparently he’s not so sure about leaving his warm and soft room.

Post Whole30: How not to do the reintroduction phase

Mainly, not going out and gorging yourself on rich and cheesy goodness.
Which I definitely did not do a few nights ago.

I mean, I may have eaten some queso. And some chips with that queso. And a margarita. And maybe had ranch dressing on my salad.
But I had a salad at least. I didn’t go all crazy and order the greasiest, cheesiest burrito on the menu. Mostly because I was afraid my insides would implode if I tried to eat that much junk in one sitting. Ha ha.
And, honestly, I felt OK after eating it all. A little too full, maybe, but not as crappy as I expected to feel upon eating so many non-Whole30 foods.

The hardest part of easing back in will be learning not to indulge nearly as often as I was, so we’ll see how that goes. I know there’s a little monster inside of me that likes to eat sugar way, way too much… learning how to better live with that monster is probably going to be the biggest challenge.

I say all of that whilst shoving spoonfuls of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in my mouth, so you know this is going really well so far.

I didn’t mean to let quite so many days pass in between posts; it was as if once I finished the Whole30, I didn’t know what to talk about anymore. As I previously mentioned, finding my groove as a blogger will be hard now that I don’t have a set topic to discuss daily. It means that I have to find things to talk about that are relatively interesting…
A daunting challenge.

To start with, however, we can discuss all things baby!
My brother and sister-in-law are currently expecting a bouncing baby boy. Expecting in the most literal sense of the word: her due date is less than a week away, and baby is already in position and seemingly ready to make his grand appearance. He, however, has decided to slow things down just a few notches and hang out in the bottom of his mom’s uterus rather than come on out for goodness’ sake. What a little punk, already.
I took time off next week around the due date, kind of hoping that he will have been born by the time I make my way up to Nashville on Sunday night. It was definitely a gamble since babies come whenever they’re ready, and that could very well mean he waits until AFTER I leave.
But even if he’s not there, I’ll just hang out in TN for a few days and hope that something exciting happens in the babies-being-born-department. If not, I guess I’m taking off some more time in the coming weeks.
Not to say that I haven’t offered my best advice on the subject:
11143522_10153420811662767_8621401417959942368_nClearly, I’ve given some stellar pop-this-baby-out advice. I decided to leave out the part of the conversation where I mentioned how, physically-speaking, squats seemed like the most effective method of getting a baby out of your uterus. But, if you think about it (and that’s a little gross to meditate on for too long), it makes sense.

I know we’re all ready for him to come on, already, so I’m really hoping that he decides to get things moving in the next day or so. Especially for my sweet sister-in-law who’s getting a little uncomfortable.

Also in the vein of childrens and kidlets (two words that my autocorrect didn’t approve of me using at all, trying desperately to change them 3 or 4 times before giving up), I was finally matched in the Big Brother Big Sister program! I got a phone call last Friday from the matching specialist concerning a potential “Little” for me, and finally was able to meet her this morning. She’s incredibly shy, but seemed pretty sweet from what I saw. Both her mom and myself felt good about the match after sitting and chatting for a half hour or so, and though she didn’t offer much in the way of words or conversation (she sat shyly in the corner the whole time I was there), my Little seemed to be pretty happy with the situation.
We will have our first “outing” (their terminology, ha ha) next week most likely. She did not offer any opinions on what she wanted to do, so that means I get to come up with something…
No pressure.

I’ll end on two fun notes from my grocery shopping experience this morning: 

1. In which I was accosted by a man who kept pointing at the SAME milk cooler and asking me “What kind of milk is this one?” instead of reading the GIANT labels that clearly said what percentage it was. 

And 2.

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Because good life decisions are hard.

Whole30: Day 30

Wow. I can’t believe I’m officially done once I go to bed tonight. I’ll wake up and be free to eat whatever the heck I want to!

That’s what I keep saying, anyway. The reality is that I will not be able to stuff my face tomorrow or I will be a very sick and sad panda. True story. I recall try to get acclimated to stuff last year after my Whole30, and several items did not go over well; however, I didn’t do the “reintroduction period” that is described with the program and that you probably should do. I probably won’t do it this time, either, let’s be honest. I know more or less what aggravates my system the most and I generally avoid those. I can eat dairy some and feel OK, and I don’t think gluten really bothers me much at all though I do avoid it mostly. Sugar sucks, no matter who you are… it’s addictive and makes me irritable sometimes and I was having a moment where the acne on my face was kind of bad despite me almost never having acne. Pretty sure it was because I was eating a lot of sugar.
I do remember finding out that I broke my terrible Diet Coke habit after my Whole30 last year. I went to go drink it sometime after I had finished the month and felt gross after taking just a few sips! Not a bad problem to have, considering I was pretty hooked.

So tomorrow I began the fun task of balancing the good eating with the indulgences. I want to be better about not consuming as much sugar for sure. Although… I do have some chocolate in my freezer for after I get off work tomorrow. It’s 70% dark chocolate, though! I think that’s fair.

Much in the way that people were just crazy yesterday, they were plain old mean today. Something about the weekends brings out the WORST in people. I constantly question how people were raised when they come into the store and acting like giant, entitled jerks. Who taught them that it was OK to act as if someone is inferior just because they’re behind a counter? Even before I started working in the food service industry I recall always wanting to be as patient and polite to service workers as I could. My parents taught me how to be a decent human being–it logically followed that I should treat people like they’re people even when they’re serving me coffee.
So today was full of people griping about how their drinks weren’t made right, calling to tell us that our “quality of service” has gone down in the past few months or to tell me that everyone in our store was rude and terrible, as well as your typical a-holes in the drive-thru who act like the moment you miss ONE word out of the order means you must be mentally challenged so they make sure to repeat back the entire order with great gusto and emphasis.
Alternatively, you have the lovely human beings who seemed afraid to either move just the tiniest fraction of an inch closer to speaker or open their mouths just a little more so you can actually understand what they’re saying. Those transactions are the worst.
Person in DT, practically whispering: Can I have a jgohaoiahgjjdjfahguajfl?
Me: I’m sorry, what did you say?
Person, at the same decibel level: I want a lsgdguoighjksfhglkjfkhgl.
Me: I’m really having hard time hearing you. One more time?
Person, still speaking to their steering wheel and not the speaker: I said I want a slgjodghojslgkhdkljfdhg.
There have been many occasions where I must confess I dropped all niceness and starting using my mean voice to let the customer know that I had no idea what the hell they were saying. I mean, come on people. Take the hint before I have to become mean.
OK, end rant.

Here’s to hoping tomorrow people will be less mean.
Maybe. The church crowd doesn’t usually deliver on that, but one can always hope.

My Final Whole30 Menu
Breakfast: Sweet potato hash with sausage and kale
Lunch: Chicken stir-fry with mayo
Dinner: Fiesta Pork Chops with oven-baked cilantro cauli-rice and a sweet potato.
Snacks: So many frozen grapes. Oh man. I could eat those by the pound.

Whole30 Day 29: Can I please have some chocolate now? No? Not yet? Sigh…

But seriously. Work this morning was completely bonkers. I think everyone in the world must have lost their damn minds or something.
Not only did one of our espresso bars go down in the middle of rush,
but the rush didn’t stop until way later than usual,
and people were literally waiting 10-15 minutes for a cup of coffee,
and then OUR FREAKING TIP JAR WAS STOLEN out of the drive-thru when the barista wasn’t looking,
and then I had to call the police
and call 18 different corporate numbers
and fill out incident reports for days. FOR DAYS.

And I’m just generally exhausted by it all. It’s been one of those days were I finally clocked out and have been trying to pretend since then that I don’t work there until I have to get up and unlock the door at 5:15AM tomorrow.  Buhhh.

In other news, my kitty had his first sleepover last night. It was traumatic. Due to a series of of events that involved maintenance men and me not wanting him to be there while they were in my apartment, I decided to take him over to a friend’s house to stay until I could pick him up this afternoon. I had never put him in a carrier before… and let me tell you, it was work. He quickly figured out that he DID NOT like me stuffing him into the bag (it’s a smaller carrier that has handles and looks like a duffel bag of sorts) and become Slippery Magoo. He managed to escape me time after time; at least 10 minutes went by in which I desperately tried to get him into the carrier and zipped up before he slipped out through the tiniest gaps.
Not to his credit at all, every time he got out he just looked at me like “What are you trying to do Hooman?” instead of hiding far under my bed where I wouldn’t be able to reach him.
Dumb cat.
But, I eventually got him in there for good and then made the saddest car trip of my life. He cried like a big baby the entire time and I felt like the worst kitty mommy EVER. And then when I let him out of his carrier he cried even more pitifully when he realized we weren’t back home.
It was rough. For me.
To be fair, though, once I left and he got acclimated to his surroundings he calmed down and behaved himself.

And now that we’re home he’s ignoring me like a giant jerk. Because he’s mad I made his little kitty life so hard for 24 hours.

In other other news…
Tomorrow is my last day of my Whole30!!!

The Menu
Breakfast: Frittata with leftover pork and kale
Lunch: Leftover pork with guacamole and kale (seriously… so much kale)
Dinner: Hamburger with tomato and mayo, stir-fry with asparagus, mushrooms, and… kale.